A lot of people like the idea of cleaning with steam versus using harsh chemicals and expensive cleaners. A lot of household cleaning products can actually be poisonous but cleaning with steam allows you to sanitize surfaces, killing 99.9% of germs and bacteria using nothing but steam. For people with children and pets, eliminating potentially dangerous chemicals is even more important.
A lot of cleaning products are very expensive but even things that are cheap and readily available like bleach and ammonia can be harmful. A lot of people use bleach by itself for cleaning but a lot of store-bought cleaning products also have chlorine in them. Breathing chlorine fumes can irritate your lungs and when mixed with other cleaning products chlorine can form poisonous gases. Both bleach and ammonia can also irritate your skin if it is not washed off quickly.
A lot of cleaning products also use fragrances to make your house smell nice and fresh after you clean it. The problem is that fragrances often have harmful chemicals and you may not even know exactly what it is you are using. Many fragrances are considered company trade secrets and these companies are not required to provide a list of ingredients used in producing fragrances. The label may just say “fragrance” but it may include chemicals that can cause headaches and respiratory problems.
There are also a lot of chemicals in cleaning products that don’t produce any immediate danger like skin irritation or respiratory problems but may have long-term health effects. Some chemicals found in common cleaning products may be carcinogens and other chemicals are what are referred to as hormone disruptors. These chemicals can either block the effects of hormones in your body or mimic the effect of other hormones and this could have serious long-term effects on your health.
In addition to all of the possible health problems that can be caused by chemicals that are common in everyday household cleaners there are also a number of environmental issues that these products can cause. A lot of the ingredients in cleaning products break down into harmful substances but a study by the US Geological Survey found detergent metabolites in 69% of the streams that they tested. Detergent metabolites are toxic and they are not biodegradable in soil or water. They mimic the effects of the hormone estrogen and harm the reproductive cycle of fish. Many detergents and cleansers also contain phosphates and when these phosphates get into the water supply they can act as a fertilizer causing algae to grow out of control. An overabundance of algae uses up the water’s oxygen supply and can kill off fish and other organisms.
By cleaning with steam and you eliminate all of those potential problems. You do not use any chemicals when cleaning with steam you are simply using hot water. Steam does a great job of cleaning and sanitizing and in addition to getting all of those chemicals out of your house you will also be saving a lot of money because running the tap on your kitchen sink is a lot cheaper than buying a stockpile of chemicals.